Last night I was on a transformational conference call. I was reluctant to get on the call because for the past 45 days I have just felt defeated. I have been trying to stuff myself into a box that appeals to everyone. In addition to that I have been dealing with loss of the upteenth magnitude. I’ve been working hard but I am hardly seeing any results. Giving up or quitting and succumbing to being average was so tempting! I have all of this going on in my head as I am slowly dialing in the numbers to get on this conference call that I DON’T WANT TO GET ON! Even as I am dialing, I have my laptop open and I am on Facebook doing 101 distracting things. I even got on 8 minutes late. As I am listening to the guest speaker share his story about perseverance, he begins talking about a bamboo tree. I am thinking, “Here we go! Another metaphor that I can neither relate to or appreciate. Great!”. But eventually I begin to listen to the story. All of a sudden, I start tearing up. Here is the story that the speaker shared:
The Story of the Bamboo Tree…
Got this email from a friend of mine:
Don’t give up….
One day I decided to quit…
I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality… I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
“God”, I asked, “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”
His answer surprised me…
“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”
“Yes”, I replied.
“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.
I gave them light.
I gave them water.
The fern quickly grew from the earth.
Its brilliant green covered the floor.
Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. He said.
“In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.
But I would not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would
not quit.” He said.
“Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared
to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant…But just 6
months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.
I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.”
He asked me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots”.
“I would not quit on the bamboo.
I will never quit on you.”
“Don’t compare yourself to others.”
“The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.
Yet they both make the forest beautiful.”
“Your time will come”, God said to me.
“You will rise high”
“How high should I rise?”
“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.
“As high as it can?” I questioned.
“Yes.” He said, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can.”
I am not quite sure what chord that the story of the bamboo tree struck with you, but the one it struck with me was loud and clear. It was a chord of hope and motivation. Often times, we feel that we are alone when we are going through tough times. Through this story we realize that struggle and growth are things that are necessary to promote EXPONENTIAL GROWTH! People may not see it, but through are hard work a system of strong roots are anchoring us so that when we do grow we stay grounded. I hope this story was as inspiring for you as it was for me.
to surpass ordinary standards.
It has been said that in order for someone to excel or be successful at something, they must have devoted over 10,000 hours or 10 years of practice and dedication. That’s a lot of time, right? WRONG! If you think about our professional athletes who make astronomical amounts of money NOW. It is because they have been dedicated to their sport and being the best for their entire life.
Are you willing to dedicated 10,000 hours to living the life of your dreams filled with infinite possibilities?
If so, leave a comment below!
As we mature into adults, many of us forget what it was like to be a teenager. I always hear parents saying, “I don’t know what is wrong with her ?” or “He needs to snap out of it!”. How easily we forget the challenges and struggles of being a teenager: Good Grades, Self Esteem, Relationships, Spirituality, Finances, etc. I mentor rising high school seniors and I was overwhelmed by their responses to the question, “What causes you stress?”. I came up with a few solutions to aid them in reducing certain stress factors in their lives.
- Create Your Own Personal Escape- this can be in the form of prayer, reading, listening to music, talking a walk,etc. Whatever activity you can do alone that will allow you to decompress.
- F.O.C.U.S.- Follow One Course Until Successful, try not to focus on too many things at once. When your ‘To Do List’ exceeds 5 things, it becomes overwhelming.
- Take Care Of Yourself- Mind, Body, and Soul. Monitor the food and drink that goes into your body. Evaluate your thoughts and ideas.
These suggestions will not eliminate ALL of the stress in your life, but it will be a start to managing the stress- causing agents in your life.
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
Do You Consider Yourself a Leader?